The Harvard Business Review has a post pointing to research that shows the benefits of reading fiction.
“Over the past decade, academic researchers such as Oatley and Raymond Mar from York University have gathered data indicating that fiction-reading activates neuronal pathways in the brain that measurably help the reader better understand real human emotion — improving his or her overall social skillfulness.”
For Australians 2012 is the National Year of reading. Emphasis will be placed on this in this library blog as we endeavour to focus on the benefits of reading and especially to gather and share the research that will promote reading for information needs and also for recreation.
2B and their teacher Mrs Kate Bradley, enjoyed a Literature Unit on Winnie the Pooh by A. A. Milne.
They discussed all the characters and their relationship with one another dealing with issues such as tolerance, perseverance and friendship.
Ultimately the children created five characters of their own and then wrote poems and stories about each one. A model for each character was simply crafted out of a bottle and was “dressed” with its own carefully designed emblem to indicate something of the personality.
The ‘characters’ and associated writing were then displayed in the outdoor IRC area, which is currently awaiting renovation. The “wasteland” of weeds and tall thistles became the Hundred Acre Wood and, with their wonderful imaginations activated, the children eagerly drilled holes in the hard clay next to their ‘characters’ to insert a stick to support their pieces of writing. Some children preferred to tie their writing to the fence. Most of them proudly brought their parents through the IRC and out to the back enclosed area to show them their work.
We are in the middle of a very successful Book Fair where students are pouring into the IRC and dragging in their parents after school – to purchase books!
The success is largely due to the fantastic “Book Talks” by Murray from Scholastic. The books came alive as he spoke about them.
Even more exciting was the new merging of book and web as he demonstrated the “Clone Wars” website where students can interact choosing their own adventure/ending through gaming on the website then reading the resulting text page given to find out what happens next.
Reading books is certainly not dead or even dying at Broughton – but promotion of reading is very important. As technology and books merge an exciting future is developing.
This clip is worth watching:
Displays, online activities, and an author visit set the scene for a week long focus on books and reading.
Children’s author and humanitarian refugee worker Andrew McDonough visited Broughton for two days. On the first day he spoke to Year 11 about his work with refugees as they come into Australia. He then spoke to Years 7 & 8 about writing and illustrating books for children.
Andrew McDonough returned for another day and spoke group by group to the whole Junior School (K-6) about his writing and illustrating. His story telling was amazing and he demonstrated some of his digital illustrating techniques.
Join this site to learn about study skills and share with other students. It is a collaborative learning space targeted at Primary and High School students. Read and share about ‘Learning Styles’, motivation, memory, researching, referencing and much more.
Our students have just had three weeks of holidays. Staff have been back for a Professional Development week, learning new technologies, planning and building the learning community here.
Our IRC has a comprehensive print collection but digital ebook resources for some curriculum areas are being purchased as funds allow. According to Kindelizaton: Are Books Obsolete? by Stephen Krashen, the sales of paperback books are declining in comparison to the sale of ebooks. This is based on the Amazon sales figures for January 2011 compared to January 2010. The point is made in this article that ebook readers and ebooks are less available to students of “high poverty families and under-funded libraries” and states that “Ebooks are allowing the print-rich to get even print-richer”.
On the other hand in the Sydney Morning Herald on 21 July, 2011 an article by Faith Sands looks at the merits of books and compares the reading experience of books with that of ipad and ebooks. Her opinion is that “There’s no substitute for books”.
As we constantly weigh up library budgets and the reading experience versus convenience and innovation, research based decisions have to be made.
Recently our K-2 classes took part in the National Simultaneous Storytime event. They enjoyed the book Feathers for Phoebe by Rod Clements and each class then decorated their own class “Phoebe”. We would like everyone to vote for the best-dressed Phoebe and a prize will be then awarded to the winning class! Voting closes on 20 August with prizes being awarded in Book Week.
At precisely 11:00AM today our Kindergarten to Year 2 students gathered for a story. The picture book Feathers for Phoebe by Rod Clements was selected by The Australian Library and Information Association (ALIA) to be read simultaneously across Australia – the aim being to improve literacy and promote reading.
The students were totally engrossed in the story which was shown digitally and each of the nine classes left with a little grey bird and a packet of feathers to go towards an ‘outfit’ for Phoebe. These will enter the “Best Dressed Phoebe” competition and be judged next week. As they left teachers could be heard muttering “…hot glue gun” and “wait till you see ours” ; so next week we should have a wonderful library display!